People of color exposed to more pollution from cars, trucks, power plants over 10 years

A new nationwide study finds that the US made little progress from 2000 to 2010 in reducing relative disparities between people of color and whites in exposure to harmful air pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other combustion sources. It found disparities in NO2 exposure were larger by race and ethnicity than by income, age or education, and that those inequities persisted across the decade.

Patients can expect to stay active, enjoy high quality of life 10 years after ACL surgery

In the first prospective ACL reconstruction cohort with over 80 percent follow-up at 10 years, researchers demonstrated that patients could perform sports-related functions and maintain a high knee-related quality of life a decade after surgery, though activity levels decline over time.

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Her Body

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My mother thinks I’m crazy. I breastfed for “like, a really long time,” I dress my daughter as a different version of Beyoncé each Halloween, and every time I bathe my girl, I hoist her still-wet frame up in the mirror Simba-style, and together we chant, “Look at this beautiful body!” She squeals with glee at her reflection, kicking her naked limbs around as I nightly remind myself what a terribly dangerous ritual hoisting a wet wriggling toddler above my head is. She then jubilantly slathers lotion on her gorgeously round belly, and we get her ready for bed — but not before I rock her with a sweet serenade of my favorite Sweeney Todd lullaby, “Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around…” as I weepily snot onto her sleep sack. So yeah, my mother thinks I’m crazy. Go figure.

There’s so much I want to bottle about my baby — the way she throws her head back at the prospect of being tickled, the way she sings herself to sleep for a full hour, and the way she sees herself in that mirror. While there is so much I fear about raising a child — especially a girl — in this world, one of the things that scares me the most is that so much of what can “harm” her is staring right back at her in that mirror, and I won’t always be around to stop it. The only way I can try to keep her safe is to teach her. And so, my girl, here are the top 10 things your mom wants you to know about that beautiful body of yours. Hopefully they can lift you up when I no longer can.

1. Know your parts.

The only time I ever got kicked out of a class was in sixth grade. I was president of the honor society and secretary of student government, but the minute my science teacher used the word “testes,” I laughed for the next 23 years. It made me so uncomfortable I never even saw a teste (ha!) until my 20s (let’s say that was the only reason). Still, I felt like the names of male genitalia were less taboo than the names of my own parts, and I want you to know yours — what they’re actually called and what they do. I want no shame or stigma to be a part of anything that’s a part of you, and I want you to be equipped with the language and knowledge to effectively communicate when something doesn’t feel right. It was your labia on the ultrasound that let me know you were a girl. I cried. The technician pointed it out and I told her it was the most beautiful labia I’d ever seen. She looked at your image and chuckled, “Girl, your mama is crazy.” But it really was. And I didn’t laugh at all. (OK, maybe just a little.)

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2. Put your parts in a swimsuit.

As I write this, a box of 13 one-piece swimsuits sits unopened on my desk, waiting for me to try them on before Water Tots tomorrow because apparently the bikini I wore last week wasn’t appropriate. It’s not that I felt even remotely comfortable in the bikini; it’s more that I haven’t been able to stomach (bad verb choice) the thought of trying on new swimsuits postpartum. My husband usually does swimming class, but he recently had a bunch of stitches and now has this huge gauzy bandage that can’t get wet, so lately, it’s my turn. When I went last week, though, awkward bikini and all, I did feel a camaraderie in that kiddie pool with a whole bunch of other new parents with their new-parent bodies that sort of let me forget about the swimsuit and enjoy the swimming (until the subsequent email with the gentle one-piece suggestion). We swim because you love it. You’re never as happy as when you splash in the water and I’d never want a swimsuit — or 13 of them — to keep you from smiling like that.

3. Exercise.

When I was in high school, my mother told me I could look like Britney Spears if I exercised (she meant well). Blissfully unaware of the dangerous implications of unrealistic body goals, I immediately went downstairs and walked on the treadmill while watching Family Feud. Did I look like Britney Spears? Survey says, “X.” But I did realize how good it felt to move my body. Family Feud walks became jogs, which turned into joining a gym. I felt strong and at home in my body for the first time, and exercise became an integral part of my life. My OB told me she thought I had an easy labor because I kept up with my exercise and had a remarkably powerful vagina. (She also told me to never tell anyone about said easy labor.) I want you to feel that your body is powerful, that it never weighs you down, but instead makes you able — to swim, and have fun, and surprise yourself with things you never thought possible, like birthing a child in six pushes. (Oops, I think I did it again.)

4. Food is good.

It’s so good! Enjoy it — let it nourish your body and your soul. Let your great-grandmother’s chicken soup heal you, let the pretzel sticks you share on the bus be the start of a friendship. Let food give you memories, bring you joy, and not become an obsession. Eat food that makes you healthier and food that makes you happier. Sticky, dripping, and still somehow in your hair the next day, ice cream shared with you is the best I’ve ever tasted. And while I appreciate your eagerness to share your can of sardines with all the (gulp) stuff, I want you to enjoy that all yourself. (For the record, I did try it; I just don’t want to deprive you of any of the stuff.) Eat good food. And take a good bath when you’re done as needed.

Snakebites cost Sri Lanka more than $10 million annually — ScienceDaily

Snakebites are a major public health problem in many rural communities around the world, often requiring medical care and affecting victims’ ability to work. Every year, snakebites cost the Sri Lankan government more than 10 million USD, and lead to economic loss of nearly 4 million USD for individuals, according to a new study in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The victims of snakebites in poor rural communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are often young individuals who are earning a wage and have a considerable remaining life expectancy. Moreover, they often work in farming or other labor intensive jobs that they must take time off from in order to recover from a bite.

In the new work, David Lalloo, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, and colleagues from the University of Kelaniya used data from a nation-wide household survey conducted in Sri Lanka in 2013 and 2013 to estimate the number of snake bites and deaths from snake bites annually. To estimate the costs of the bites, they used additional household questionnaires and information gathered from hospital cost accounting systems.

79% of victims, the study found, suffered economic loss after a snake bite, with a median out of pocket cost of $11.82 and a median loss of income of $28.57 for those employed and $33.21 for those self-employed. To put this in context, the mean per capita income per month for people living in the rural areas studied was only $74 USD. The total annual economic burden on households was $3.8 USD. In addition, each year, the bites cost the national healthcare system $10.3 million USD — which is 0.7% of the country’s total healthcare costs — and lead to more than 11,000 years’ worth of disability time, the researchers calculated. The numbers were comparable to Sri Lanka’s annual spending on meningitis and dengue.

“It is unlikely that these costs will reduce in the near future as there is no indication that the high incidence of bites is declining,” the researchers say. “Even more concerning is the economic burden that snakebite places on victims and their households… It is highly likely in Sri Lanka that snakebite drives the same catastrophic costs for the poor as many other diseases.”

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